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Regular Readers may recall my posts here about Slippery Pete, some may even remember certain people defending the wine loving political poser
He was found guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday, and is due to be sentenced on September 22.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker found Slipper had acted dishonestly when he used the vouchers to pay for the three trips, and that he had knowingly caused a risk of loss to the Commonwealth.
Isn’t it nice to see that he has now been found guilty and I can’t help wonder what his fate will be on September 22? I tend to think that the usual rubric of sentencing for such things will not see him receiving a custodial sentence my best guess is that he will get a good behavior bond. which in layman’s terms means that he will have “got off”. Given his political career is well and truly over he will very soon return to his well earned obscurity.
CLIVE Palmer’s bid to create a new political party is today mired in confusion, amid the short-lived recruitment of former speaker Peter Slipper and a renewed push for registration under a new name.
The mining entrepreneur today announced his United Australia Party, formed just three weeks ago, will now be known as the Palmer United Party, to avoid a legal battle with the Australian Electoral Commission.
Mr Palmer and his political allies will now attempt to register the party by the deadline for federal registration tomorrow, with a requirement for 500 signatures.
Palmer United Party reduces to a rather amusing acronym of “PUP” which is so cute and will doubtless provide the underpinning for so many possible puns and possible dog jokes about this whole vanity project being pursued by Palmer. I can’t think straight for laughter here so instead I’m just going to post some funny dog gifs with an invitation to caption them as is appropriate to the Palmer United Party:
The more traditional game for the politically involved is Chess but as a cipher for modern democratic politics it is not really the best fit, the game is after all analogous to conflicting monarchies. Democracies have a very different dynamic. All of this is a rambling way of getting around to my view of politics as a game. Now I can just imagine that the howls of objection will begin and suggest that to see politics as a game is to not take it seriously, however as any committed sports fan will tell you there is nothing more serious than sport.
On one side of the field we have team Gillard who should have the home ground advantage except that they have done a really good job of upsetting their own fans and of course they have had to make up for the lack of a full team by bringing in some blow-ins who have their own ideas about how the team should play and its those blow-ins who have been the beginning of Team Gillard’s woes and led to them beginning their first quarter with a very spectacular own goal that has haunted them ever since. Now even if you believe in climate change this betrayal of a undertaking made just prior to the 2010 poll was very bad politics and evidence of a contempt for the voters. It was bad politics because it destroyed what little good will Gillard had left after Knifing Rudd to become team Capitan. It was also bad politics because it showed just how desperate Gillard was to get a team together. A better negotiator would have walked away when the asking price was too high. That Gillard did not do so speaks volumes about her deal making ability and none of it is good.
Impulsiveness is often cited as one of Tony Abbott‘s failings there is many a critic from the left who will insist that he is prone to “brain-farts” but there can be no better examples of flatulent thinking than the coniptions that has passed for the Gillard’s ever changing pattern of denial about the folly of changing the asylum seeker regime after winning the 2007 election. Really I don’t know if we should classify this as one own Goal or many. In the first instance there was an unbelievable denial that there was even a problem, the fans did not buy it for a minute, then there was the Timor solution that not even the Timorese knew about even though it had been announced by Gillard, then came the “Malaysian solution” which failed at the first legal hurdle, finally after some furious instance that she would not have overseas processing that is what she has created. By my count that has to be about half a dozen own goals on that issue alone.
In the more recent period of play we have seen even more own goals. The spirited defence of Craig Thompson has not been her finest hour and had she not been in such a precarious position on the numbers in the parliament Thompson would have long since been forced to resign form the house and the Government would have been truly distanced from the stench of corruption. However if Thompson is the “try” then appointing appointing Peter Slipper as Speaker of the house would have to qualify as a “conversion” because the whole point was to shore up her numbers on the field and it has turned out to be a disaster from start to finish. Firstly to make a place for Slipper in the speaker’s chair she had to give the well respected incumbent, Harry Jenkins the old heave ho and then Slipper invited derision and disdain for that high office with his instance upon reviving old out dated and pretentious ceremonial processions. Add to that the simple fact that he was dodgy on his attitude to his expense accounts and the sexual harassment claims against him and the whole business easily earns Gillard six demerit points.
But Gillard is not the only member of her team who is prone to making “Own goals” Wayne Swan has scored more than his fair share it starts with the simple fact that not one of his five budgets have ever turned out even close to his predictions , well I suspect that has been the case for many treasurers but few have been made to look as much a fool as Wayne Swan has over his instance that the promised surplus would be delivered even though this claim was widely denounced by our most knowledgeable financial commentators. When it could not be denied any longer Swan did finally admit the obvious but by this time he was well over his own goal line and the touchdown was just a formality.
Of course there is no better example of Swan’s ability to score against Labor than the MRRT which has been so unreasonably celebrated since its inception as away of clawing back a bigger return to the Australian people for the mineral riches that fuels our economy. Quite a laudable aim in many ways but the own goal lays in the design of the tax and the way that it has been spent many times over before even one cent was collected. The revelations in Fairfax press about how Swan “negotiated” the deal should stand forever as an example of the way not to get the best outcome fro the Australian people .
Its not just been the front row of team Labor who have been scoring goals for the other team the NBN has been a political disaster for Labor as well. Now as much as we all want a bigger brighter broadband network the fact that the business case for such a grand scheme can possibly be excused in the name of nation building but the cost blow-outs and endless delays are far less forgivable, likewise the minister Stephen Conroy has been less than scintillating in convincing the Australian people that the project will be worth the billions this is costing us to build it. Maybe not a own goal touchdown but it does move the ball very much into the scoring contention against their own interests .
But the biggest own goal score maker has to be the ever present Kevin Rudd, this ghost of Christmas past has been haunting Team Labor since he was so ingloriously dispatched in the 2010 Coup. He is definitely not a team Gillard player even though he wears the team jersey. He clearly wants the Captaincy again but but like Marley’s Ghost he is burdened by the chains of his past sins and they may well be to heavy a burden for him to rise cream like to the top of the Labor pail. Then again if Labor is in losing big time they may just try to use him as a final all in bet.
On the other side of the field Team Abbott have played a far more disciplined game , managing to largely stay on message and focused on the prize of ultimate victory when the final whistle blows . There have been a few stumbles but overall they have managed to maintain the momentum of play in their favour. Of course many of those who are dyed in the wool Labor Fans have been trying to get the game commentary onto the topic of next season’s plays but Abbott is faced with a team who keep scoring goals for him rather than against him so he does not have to work very hard to get that winning score. Sports fans get easily bored by a game which is too one sided and they start to drift off to the beer tent well before the final whistle. They are drifting ale-wards now and unless something truly extraordinary happens between now and September 14 we can expect Team Abbott to be crowned as champions on September 15.
*for team Abbott 😉
- I’m Kevin … and I’m from Brissie (smh.com.au)
- Rudd ‘will be PM again’ (smh.com.au)
- Swan seeks to deflect tax attention (abc.net.au)
- Labor ‘may shift back to Rudd’ (bigpondnews.com)
- The little book of big Liberal lies (cafewhispers.wordpress.com)
- Rudd … will he be back? (theage.com.au)
- Gillard can’t escape her ghosts – Rudd is too visible | The Australian (rajcairnsreport.wordpress.com)
- Labor MPs circulate anti-Rudd email (abc.net.au)
- Gillard’s not-so-merry band of has-beens and hacks (abc.net.au)
- Planet Kevin serves up revenge (smh.com.au)
The Saga of Slippery Pete just gets better and better, the report in today’s Fairfax press points out that there is a massive incentive for Slipper to resign before the allegations against him are tested in the courts:
When he retires, Mr Slipper can expect to receive a yearly pension of about $157,000 for the rest of his life.
However, if he is found guilty of the alleged fraud, Mr Slipper is likely to lose everything besides a refund of his superannuation contributions (without interest).
Mr Slipper’s retirement package is especially lucrative because of his long service – 23 years as an MP – and his occupation of highly paid roles including Speaker of the House of Representatives, where he earned an annual salary of $371,463.
The threat to his entitlements provides an incentive for him to resign before he faces court next month, if he fears a guilty verdict and wants to protect his pension.
There is little precedent for Mr Slipper’s predicament but legal experts and public servants familiar with politicians’ entitlements said an early resignation would likely protect his lucrative pension package in the event of a later conviction, although they could provide no guarantee.
Either way, if he remains in Parliament and is convicted, he will lose much of his entitlements regardless of how severe any sentence is.
Of course given the fact that this is an election year one can only wonder if Slipper resigning his seat before he can be convicted will mean a by-election or what is more likely that the voters of Slipper’s electorate being unrepresented in the parliament until after the general election. Neither choice can be very attractive for the Gillard regime because both would highlight Gillard’s poor judgement in making here deal with wine loving Slipper in the first place.
- Slipper faces pension dilemma (theage.com.au)
- Abbott rounds on PM again over Slipper (bigpondnews.com)
- Slipper ‘wined, dined on public dime’ (smh.com.au)
- Slipper served with summons over taxi vouchers (abc.net.au)
- Winery tours ‘at taxpayers’ expense’ (theage.com.au)
- MP Peter Slipper faces car travel charges (news.smh.com.au)
Well how about the news today that slippery Pete is to be charged over allegations of dishonesty?
Not wanting to take away his presumption of, Ah hem, innocence however its hard for me not to secretly enjoy the prospect of a whole cohort of lefties who have been insisting that slipper not previously facing charges means that the whole affair has been a Coalition fit up…
Hark! is that the light of a fire to go with all that smoke we have been seeing for ages?
Justice Rares hands down judgement countersigned by AG Nicola Roxon in the Peter Slipper James Ashby matter
Well here is an opinion of the Ashby/Slipper matter that is somewhat different to the one offered by Ray in the previous post at my Sandpit The author makes the same argument that I was suggesting in my comment to that post. Namely that the summary judgement is politically motivated and it is likely to be over turned upon appeal.
Justice Steven Rares has handed down a summary judgement accusing James Ashby of abuse of process, his application being politically motivated and using the proceedings to defame Federal MP Peter Slipper. This is hypocritical of Justice Rares to the extreme.
Rares judgement is clearly politically motivated and he abuses his position as a judge to defame numerous people who were not party to the proceedings thereby denying them natural justice.
What Justice Rares says about Ashby and others (Click here to read Rares’s judgement)
I have reached the firm conclusion that Mr Ashby’s predominant purpose for bringing these proceedings was to pursue a political attack against Mr Slipper and not to vindicate any legal claim he may have for which the right to bring proceedings exists
I am satisfied that these proceedings are an abuse of the process of the Court. The originating application was used by Mr Ashby for the…
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Strewth its getting so that no one can make or take a joke these days with all of the dour seriousness that has been advocated by our friends in the ALP you would have thought that they could at least practice what they preach but no they have been caught out being offensive about Tony Abbott’s female head of staff at a party function. The joke is though that having tried to claim the high moral ground over the Jones affair and Gillard’s posturing in the Parliament about sexism and misogyny they have demonstrated precisely those vices at this function.
I am also reminded of the “swings and roundabouts” effect of playing these issues with the public as my quote suggests Labor may be winning with the feministas on this issue but far more ordinary blokes are being turned off their shenanigans and at the end of the day it is the votes in the box that counts and Labor have once again shown that their rank opportunism is fooling no one but themselves.
Well at last after having to support this loathsome man Gillard has a chance to put the Slipper speakership behind her but its odium and the shame of having tried to pull this swifty will remain with her just as the odium of all of her other bad decisions will be reiterated ad infinitum by both the opposition and the voters. Slippery Pete may no longer be speaker but as long as Gillard remains in the lodge there is work to be done, moving vans to be booked and change to be joyfully anticipated.